President Obama declared on Monday this week declared that “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.” In other words, by executive action, or some other means, be can continue what he has been doing to do an end run around Congress and become a dictator to do whatever he wants.
His bis mistake was to let the cat out of the bag and actually state this is what he has been doing and will continue to do. Before today, he was actually getting away with it, but as soon as he declared this was the tactic he employs, that is when he ran afoul of the system.
U.S. Supreme Court justices soon let him know that he can’t do anything he wants, to do an end-run around Congress and the Supreme Court.
Obama basically said he was no longer President Obama, but Dictator Obama, with almost unlimited powers. The Supreme Court Justices rightly considered this as massive overreach and exceeding the Founding Father’s vision of the executive branch’s authority.
This is not the first time Obama has butted heads with the Supreme Court over his dictatorial powers. In January, 2012, Obama attempted to name three members to the National Labor Relations Board. Obama, as Bush did before him, purposely deferred controversial appointments until recess, specifically to bypass the Congress. The Supremes narrowly ruled they could simply invalidate Mr. Obama’s appointments by finding he tried to make them when the Senate considered itself in session, not in recess.
After only 90 minutes of oral arguments and debate, the court defined the separation of powers between the branches, sparring with Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the Obama administration’s solicitor general, about the president’s expansive claims.
Mr. Verrilli said, “We have, I would submit, a stable equilibrium that has emerged over the course of this country’s history between the two branches,” he said. “What we are advocating for here is the status quo.”
Grudgingly, Verrilli admitted that the recess appointment power was being used outside its original framework, and that it was now being used as a “safety valve” for the president. In other words, he is using it to get appointments when nobody is looking.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer, on the liberal side of the court, appointed by Bill Clinton, has a generally pragmatic approach to constitutional law. He responded to Verrilli by saying, “I can’t find anything that says the purpose of this clause has anything at all to do with political fights between Congress and the president.”
Interestingly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, attended Monday’s argument and said the justices were “rightly skeptical” of Mr. Obama’s claims.
Other attendees included White House’s chief attorney, Kathryn Ruemmler, and press secretary Jay Carney. Unsurprisingly, both feel the court will side with Mr. Obama.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the president nominates key officials, but the Senate has the power to confirm or reject them. Since the beginning of his first term at the beginning of 2009, Congress has been meeting almost continuously arguing the recess appointments president Obama has made.
It all came to a head in 2012 when the Senate wouldn’t act on his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and he and his advisors decided to try an end run around congress.
His success in using executive orders to bypass congress so many times seems to have made him believe he can just keep on bending the rules to suit himself. The democrats seem to be OK with bending the rules and shredding the constitution, as long as the president is a democrat, and the republicans seem to be impotent without the help of democrats. Help from democrats isn’t coming any time soon.
Interestingly, the shoes were on the other feet when George W. Bush was president. It just shows us all that politicians have extremely short vision.